Some have criticised the 19-year-old for admitting fatigue, while others believe that Sterling made the right decision in order to prevent future burnout.
While speaking at the National Football Museum in Manchester, Owen said: "We're surmising how he was feeling but I never felt like telling the manager I was tired because I never felt particularly that I needed a rest.
"I know people will say, 'Well, we don't want anyone having burnout', but I'll ask you now - can you name one player who has ever been burned out? I don't know of anyone."
Owen, who, like Sterling, was developed in the youth system at Anfield, added: "If Raheem has asked to be rested because he felt tired than you've got to commend him for that because that's putting the team first or he could have injured himself.
"And then on the flip side you think to yourself well maybe he was just being honest with the manager, thinking he was just a little more tired than he was but still wanting to play. Then all of a sudden he's been put on the bench and he's thinking I don't think I'll be so honest next time."
Sterling is expected to be in the squad for Liverpool's match against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.